Bueno, we have recently been given news that we are going to be stationed in the United Kingdom for the next three years. With these news we decided to take a roadtrip across the California coast to San Francisco. This was our first major travel excursion with Santiago and Sofía. Since this was our first long trip, we decided it would be best to leave our faithful chihuahua, Azteca with our cousins in San Diego. This was a huge decision because in Azteca’s past five years of life she has traveled everywhere with us. I even flew her to Miami with me while I was 25 weeks pregnant. She is my first baby and I will forever adore her.
DISCLAIMER: I highly recommend stopping frequently. With babies, they often get agitated, at least mine do and stopping every few hours made a huge difference. I was also still nursing and pumping so buying a car adapter for your pump was a lifesaver during those times when pulling into the next city was not an option.
Day One- We left on a Monday around 12 p.m. We drove for about 3 hours and made it to Ventura, decided to eat dinner, feed the babes and walk around a bit. Our first night we stayed near Santa Barbara at the Marriott in Goleta. Something that we didn’t bring were pack-n-plays because Marriott’s provide them if they are available. Well night one hits and the Marriott did not have pack-n-plays available, so that is an item I would think about bringing. That night was pretty rough. We sleep trained Santiago and Sofia when they were four months old so they are used to sleeping in their beds, in their room, with a sound machine, in the dark. Needless to say, it was difficult getting them to fall asleep in our bed, with Michael and I.
Day Two- Started driving right after breakfast. Something to keep the babes distracted: we installed some iPad holders on the headrest of the back seats (since their car seats are still rear facing) so we could play movies for them. They were not too amused by it but it did its job. We stopped in San Simeon and decided to tour Hearst Castle. I HIGHLY recommend that as a tourist stop. The castle was gorgeous and there is so much to see. Once our tour was over we decided to do dinner and push forward. We took highway one for the scenic route except it was pure darkness and it took us twice the time! My recommendation is to drive the coast when it’s daylight out. We could’ve taken highway 101 and been there so much quicker. Night two we stayed in Salinas and this time praise the Lord there were pack-n-plays. We were able to stay at the Residence Inn so the main bedroom has a door which you can close off to the rest of the hotel room- major lifesaver with sleep trained babes.
Day Three- The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a short drive north of Salinas. It is something that was on my Cali coast road trip list so we decided to make a stop. FYI, during any holiday season- not such a good idea. The aquarium was lots of fun but the twins weren’t walking so it was difficult pushing the stroller everywhere and trying to get them to pay attention to the animals. We were only a couple of hours from San Francisco so decided to press forward. We decided to stay just south of the city, at a Residence Inn of course and maybe that was not such a good idea either. Like any major city, the traffic is ridiculous! Just something to consider, what is more important to you, a nice place to stay for a reasonable price, or location?
Days Four & Five- were spent in San Francisco. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard street, Bay bridge. We really wanted to tour Alcatraz but it was booked until February! So word of advice- book it early if you know when you will be visiting.
Our trip was so amazing, I only wish we had more TIME, but don’t we always? There is so much to see of California, I am truly going to miss it.
I would love to hear what helped you during a trip with your baby!
Stay spontaneous and adventurous, always,